When I first moved to Sydney it was hard not to compare it to the previous two cities I’d lived in – San Francisco and New York. In SF you’re hard-pressed to find a bakery that doesn’t sell vegan pastries and in New York every bagel shop has multiple flavours of Tofutti. Both vegan meccas. It’s been hard to measure up, but at the same time, it’s nice starting to see veganism go a bit more mainstream here. And in fact, there’s a lot of awesome stuff here that I never had in SF and NY that make this city feel more and more like home for me every day.
Here are my current top five reason why being vegan in Sydney is better than ever:
1. Spoon’s Vegetarian Butcher – I never used to like fake meats very much as I never really miss the real thing. But I started visiting them when they had just a stall at the Marrickville Markets and now that they have a storefront walking distance to me, I’m loving it! Their bolognese is awesome as are their seitan strips, burgers sausages, schnitzels… well, just about everything!
2. Apt Cafe – Formerly Naked Espresso, now that they’ve set up shop in Berkelouw Books we eat here on the regular. It’s very kid-friendly too, with a changing table in the bathroom. They do a lot of specials that change frequently, may favourite of which have been the tacos. With the communal seating there’s always a good vibe here too.
3. Gelato Blue – After giving up sugar in my pregnancy I may have binged a little on it after Luella was born and my favourite indulgence is a jaffa sorbet from Gelato Blue on my frequent walks around town. Newtown has no shortage of gelato shops, but this one has the biggest vegan selection and is my fave for sure.
4. Cruelty Free Shop – I was pleasantly surprised when this opened up, how many different products they stocked and how many I’d never seen before. Not only is it great to have a shop where you don’t have to read labels, but they’ve also been an influence on the neighbourhood, with Glebe cafes starting to offer more vegan options on their menus. Hooray for vegan businesses!
5. Yulli’s Screening Room – Ok, I haven’t been there yet but I was so excited to learn about this I have to share. Yulli’s has long been one of my favourite Sydney vego restaurants. I went there for my Hens Night dinner and have had so many great nights there. I thought it’d be years before I could go back there, what with the little one, but then I learned that they now do film screenings upstairs and that every second Sunday is a family night! We’re planning to go to the next one and I can’t wait!
Honourable mentions go to Rubyfruit Bakery, Nourishing Quarter, Green Gourmet and the upcoming Cruelty Free Festival. Sydney’s got a lot going for it, and in fact, many of the places I mentioned above have opened up since I moved here, which just goes to show it’s getting more and more vegan-friendly as time goes on. I wonder what it will look like when Luella’s old enough to start eating in restaurants 🙂
UPDATE: While out and about today I thought of some other places that make it awesome to be vegan here: Iku, Janet’s Pies, Fiji Markets (not a vegan shop but awesome cheap legumes and spices!) and today I sampled the Vegan Teahouse at the Newtown Markets – soooo good!)